Stage 16 of the 2021 Giro d'Italia has been shortened, with two climbs taken out due to extreme weather.
The Passo Fedaia and Passo Pordoi, the middle two climbs of the day with the latter being the highest point of this year's race, have been cut amid heavy snow and freezing temperatures.
Cristian Salvato, from the CPA cyclist's union, said: "We actually started talking yesterday morning, we tried to find a way to do the whole stage, the riders wanted to do the whole stage. We wanted the weather to be better but actually, it's gotten worse.
"We talked about it again and talked about it with the Giro organisers and the teams and in the end, we've made a good decision. Maybe we could have gone over and there would be no problems but also the race could have been stopped. We didn't want anything like in Milan-San Remo .
"Of course I understand everybody, I wanted the riders to be able to do the stage too, but we thought it would be too much of a risk."
La nueva etapa reina 😪#Giro #Giro104 #Giro2021 pic.twitter.com/HxyhgotbrzMay 24, 2021
Instead, stage 16 will now be 155km instead of 212km, with riders still tackling La Crosetta before skipping out the middle two climbs in order to go straight to the Passo Giau before descending into Cortina d'Ampezzo. It is believed the clock for GC times will be stopped at the Passo Giau while riders will still be able to compete for the stage win on the descent into the real finish.
The start of the stage has also apparently been delayed by an hour.
Hugh Carthy spoke to GCN before the start of the stage, and before the race alterations were announced, saying although he was keen to race the entire course he understood the decision would ultimately be made by the race organisers.
"Today the stage is 212km but I've prepared for 212km, I'm ready for that. It's a complicated stage in this weather but your mind can be the biggest factor," he said.
"I don't know it's not for me to say, I think as riders we have to ride together and make a decision together, it's not for me to say on my own.
"If they cancel it they cancel it, it's not my decision."
"Obviously it changes the dynamic of the stage quite a lot, certainly makes it less of a race of attrition, so everything will come down to that final climb," BikeExchange's Nick Schultz added. "But I'm pretty impartial to it, I would have done the full stage but if it's been shortened it's been shortened."
More to follow...
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